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Marshmallow Plant Monograph

Grow | Harvest | Make with Marshmallow

I D E N T I F I C A T I O N Main stalk reaching 4+ ft tall

serrated, soft leaves with downy hair

5 petaled, soft pink to purple flowers with purple veins

large, clumpy root ball rather than one taproot G R O W Althaea Officinalis is part of the Malvacea family and a relative to hollyhock (left), hibiscus, rose of Sharon, cacao, kola, cotton and okra.  

Perennial Zones 3-9 Full to part sun

Rich, moist, well drained soil Could tolerate marshy conditions Seed, propagation or fall root division Makes a lovely edge or border

A sustainable replacement Slippery Elm which is deemed at risk by United Plant Savers H A R V E S T & D R Y Leaves & Flowers Summer Midmorning after dew has dried When some, but not all flowers are in bloom Dry on screens or in a dehydrator. Roots Fall of 2nd year after plant dies back or spring of 3rd year before growth begins Break root ball in half or into quarters Wash thoroughly, but avoid activating the mucilage extraction Let it dry before chopping into small disks. Dry on screens or in a dehydrator.

Whoever shall take a spoonful of mallow shall that day be free from all diseases that may come to him - Pliny

P R O P E R T I E S Roots I Leaves I Flowers Cool l Moist l Sweet I Bland Demulcent l Emollient l Vulnerary l Anti-Inflammatory l Antibacterial I Diuretic I Expectorant M A K E Tea: dry constitutions, dry coughs, sore throat, singers, smoke inhalation, UTI, kidney stones, heartburn, stomach aches, ulcers, colic, IBS, leaky gut, dry constipation Oil: vaginal irritation or inflammation, wounds,stings, sores, bites, cuts, bruises, burns, sun, rashes, eczema Bath: dry skin, measles, chickenpox, sitz bath for vulva or rectum Wash/Compress: sore and inflamed eyes or skin, stings, burns Culinary: sticky and gooey mucilage, thickening agent, young leaves in salads C O N T R A D I C T I O N S consume away from medication as mucilage may slow, inhibit or delay absorption

For educational purposes only. Not intended for medical advice. Always consult your physician.

Folklore & Fables of


Althaea officinalis "The Common mallow saves you from every disease" Southern Italia phrase via Gail Faith Edwards Althaea is derived from Greek "altho" which means "to cure" or "to heal;healer." Officinalis was given to plants historically used for medicine. Therefore the full name means "healing medicinal plant." It's family name Malvaceae comes from the Greek word "malak" which means "soft" due to leaf texture. Common names include sweet weed, mallards, cheeses and mortification root. Ruled by Venus and the Moon and the sign Taurus, its element is water and its energy is feminine. In floriography, or Victorian Language of Flowers, Marshmallow signifies beneficence or mildness. The fruits may be called "cheeses" due to their shape which looks like a wheel of cheese.  Celts put the fruit over the eyes of the departed to prevent spirits from entering the body and to help the soul safely reach the afterlife. Marshmallow has been considered a funerary herb, being planted by graves to bless and decorate the site. Neanderthals are thought to have covered the dead with marshmallow, yarrow, cornflower, grape hyacinths to cover the dead. Associated with the goddesses Althea, Aphrodite and Venus. Strewn on houses for Beltane (May Day) to attract love, fertility and good fortune, Marshmallow is said to only grow near happy homes and can be planted in your garden to encourage those attributes. It's mucilage acts as a binding substance to adhere pills, lozenges and incense and can temper the effects of pungent herbs. The plant is edible in its entirety and is considered a survival food. The Romans considered the vegetable a delicacy. Add leaves to salads or roots to thicken soups. Since ancient times, marshmallow root has been used in confections. It is thought to be used as far back as 2000 BCE Egypt and in halva in13th century Middleeast. The precursor to the modern day marshmallows were created in France in the mid 1800s and may have been touted to soothe sore throats.

For educational purposes only. Not intended for medical advice. Always consult your physician.


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